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White Ferns head to unfamiliar territory

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/09/2016

White Ferns skipper Susie Bates and her team are under no illusions as they head to South African conditions they will be experiencing for the first time. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images White Ferns skipper Susie Bates and her team are under no illusions as they head to South African conditions they will be experiencing for the first time. The Whites Ferns are heading to unfamiliar territory as they prepare for their women's cricket tour of South Africa.

While coach Haidee Tiffin and her assistant, Matthew Bell, have played in the republic, none of those in the squad has had experience of the local conditions.

"It's going to be challenging and we're gathering as much information as we can," Tiffin said.

"I didn't play at the grounds that we'll be at, so it is new, and the South African women are going from strength to strength, so we're under no illusions."

The White Ferns haven't embarked on a stand-alone tour of South Africa before. The last they were there was for the 2005 World Cup.

The New Zealanders, skippered by experienced batting allrounder Suzie Bates, left Auckland on Tuesday night and they will have plenty of time to acclimatise on arrival.

They will have a lead-up fixture against an Emerging Players side in Potchefstroom next Tuesday before the opening one-day international in Kimberley on October 8.

In all, New Zealand and South Africa will face each other in seven ODIs, the first three of which will carry ICC Women's Championship points.

Tiffin said the match schedule would provide excellent build-up for the 2017 World Cup in England.

"We're preparing for a World Cup next year when we're going to be playing been seven one-dayers before play-offs," she said.

"It's great preparation for us."

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